Adrian Gurvitz

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Adrian Gurvitz
Also known as Adrian Curtis
Born (1949-06-26) 26 June 1949 (age 65)
Stoke Newington, North London
Genres Pop rock, soft rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, musician, producer
Instruments Guitar, piano
Years active 1967–present
Labels Jet, RAK, EMI, Geffen, Playfull
Associated acts The Gun, Three Man Army, Baker Gurvitz Army, The Graeme Edge Band , The Buddy Miles Express

Adrian Gurvitz (born Adrian Curtis Gurvitz, 26 June 1949,[1] in Stoke Newington, North London) is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. His prolific songwriting ability has gained him hits on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack The Bodyguard,[2] Eddie Money’s No. 1 Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts single "The Love in Your Eyes", and with his own song "Classic", a No. 8 UK hit single, as well as the Top 10 UK Rock Chart single "Race with the Devil", with his band The Gun. His early bands The Gun, Three Man Army, and The Baker Gurvitz Army were major influences to the first wave of the British hard rock circuit. Gurvitz also gained notability as a lead guitarist, known for this intricate, hard-driving solos. Gurvitz was placed at No. 9 by Chris Welch of Melody Maker’s "Best Guitarist in the World" list.[3]

Early life[edit]

Gurvitz's father was the tour manager for Cliff Richard and the Shadows[4] and The Kinks. Adrian started playing guitar at the age of 8 and by age 15, he was touring in early bands like Screaming Lord Sutch, Billie Davis, and Crispian St. Peters. In 1967, he had a minor hit with his band Rupert’s People with their single, “Reflections of Charlie Brown” released on Columbia Records. The song charted on the Australian Pop Charts at No.13 in August 1967. It also made the Top 40 in the UK.[5]

Career[edit]

As the lead guitarist and singer of the band The Gun, Gurvitz had his first major hit with "Race with the Devil" at age 18. Issued as a single in October 1968, it reached the UK charts in the top 10 and in March 1969, it became No. 1 in many European countries.[6] Jimi Hendrix quoted the song's riff during his song "Machine Gun" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970.[7] "Race with the Devil" has been covered by Judas Priest (on the remastered CD version of Sin After Sin), Black Oak Arkansas (on their album Race with the Devil), Girlschool (on their album Demolition), and Church of Misery (on their 1996 demo, released as a split album with Acrimony, and on their full-length LP Vol. 1). Their debut album artwork cover is noteworthy as it was Roger Dean's first. After their second album, Gunsight, the band disbanded.

Not long after The Gun disbanded, Gurvitz began work on his first solo album, which turned into Three Man Army's debut album, A Third of a Lifetime. Three Man Army was signed to Reprise Records and Warner Bros. Records. The debut album featured several drummers, including Band of Gypsy's drummer Buddy Miles.

Shortly after Jimi Hendrix's death, Miles invited Gurvitz to join his band, The Buddy Miles Express, on its US tour.[8] The tour lasted for two solid years and they played in front of 50,000 people a night. On tour, Gurvitz contributed to Buddy Miles' 1973 album Chapter VII.[9] It was during this tour that Gurvitz met Ginger Baker, drummer for Cream.

Gurvitz returned to the UK from his tour with Buddy Miles and met back up with his brother and Three Man Army bandmate Paul Gurvitz. Tony Newman, who had previously played with Sounds Incorporated and Rod Stewart, joined for the group's next two albums, Mahesha and Three Man Army Three. At the end of the third album, he teamed up to form The Baker Gurvitz Army with Ginger Baker.

The Baker Gurvitz Army signed to Vertigo Records in the UK and signed with Atlantic Records in the States. Their album, Baker Gurvitz Army went Gold, peaked at No. 22 on the UK Albums Chart and hit the US Billboard 200 chart.[10] They went on to produce two more Gold albums together, Elysian Encounter (1975) and Hearts On Fire (1976). The band carried a legendary cult following.

Gurvitz was asked by drummer Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues to join his band, The Graeme Edge Band. He wanted Gurvitz to write, sing and produce his next two albums, Kick Off Your Muddy Boots and Paradise Ball Room,[11] which both charted in the US. The album was released by Threshold and the cover illustrations was by Joe Petagno.

In 1979, Gurvitz went solo and recorded two albums with Jet Records. He wrote Sweet Vendetta with US studio musicians Jeff, Joe and Steve Porcaro, and David Paich who later started the band, Toto. He later wrote Il Assassino in 1980. After his deal with Jet Records ended, he signed with EMI/Rak in Europe and Geffen Records in the US. There he released his third album, Classic. Gurvitz reached massive success with the song "Classic", reaching No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart.[12] "Classic" was one of the most played ballads in England in 1982.[13] The follow-up single was "Your Dream".[14]

During this time, Gurvitz wrote for Mickie Most’s publishing company Rak Music Publishing. There, Gurvitz wrote songs for Earle Brown, Hot Chocolate, and in 1982 he wrote The England World Cup Squad song "England, We'll Fly The Flag", which hit No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.[15]

Gurvitz moved to the States and wrote Eddie Money's hit, "The Love in Your Eyes". It reached number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[16] Gurvitz signed to Warner Chappell Music, where he wrote tracks for artists like Steve Perry, REO Speedwagon and Chicago. In 1992, he wrote "Even if My Heart Would Break", recorded by Aaron Neville and Kenny G. The song appeared in the movie and on the best selling soundtrack album of all time, The Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The Bodyguard soundtrack still is the No. 1 selling soundtrack of all time and it is recognized as being one of the top 5 best selling albums of all time.[17] The Bodyguard soundtrack won a Grammy for best album of the year in 1994 and has sold over 45 million copies worldwide. Also, Kenny G included the song on his platinum album Breathless.

In 2002, Gurvitz formed an American pop girl group, No Secrets. One of the members of the group was his daughter, Carly Lewis. They signed to Jive Records and their song, "Kids in America" peaked at No. 1 on the Heatseekers Billboard charts. It was also featured on the Jimmy Neutron movie soundtrack. No Secrets joined Aaron Carter in Toronto for the shooting of his video named "Oh Aaron", and they also collaborated in the taping of the song, providing background vocals.[18]

Gurvitz was hired by Walt Disney Records to produce and write songs for many of their in-house pop stars like Jesse McCartney, Cheetah Girls and Anne Hathaway. He produced many of the Disneymania soundtracks, which landed him three gold albums.

In 2011, Gurvitz produced the song "Stevie on the Radio" for Pixie Lott featuring Stevie Wonder on her album Young Foolish Happy. The album went Gold in the UK.

Most recently, Gurvitz has worked with Ziggy Marley and Andra Day, among others. He is currently working as an executive at Buskin Records in which he founded alongside Jeffrey Evans, and with Warner Bros. Records in which Buskin has a partnership deal.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Solo
  • Sweet Vendetta (1979, Jet)
  • The Way I Feel (1979, Jet)
  • Il Assassino (1980, Jet)
  • Classic (1982, RAK/ Geffen)
  • Acoustic Heart (1996, Playfull)
  • No Compromise (2000, Playfull)
  • Classic Songs (Compilation) (2000, Playfull)
Bands

The Gun

  • Gun (CBS, 1968)
  • Gun Sight (CBS, 1970)

Three Man Army

  • A Third of a Lifetime (One Way Records, 1971)
  • Mahesha (issued in the US as Three Man Army) (Reprise/Polydor, 1973)
  • Three Man Army Two (Reprise/Polydor, 1974)
  • Three Man Army 3 (Revisited Records, SPV 304222CD - Recorded 1973-4 released 2005)

The Baker Gurvitz Army

The Graeme Edge Band, featuring Adrian Gurvtiz

Singles[edit]

  • "Untouchable and Free" (1979)
  • "The Way I Feel" (1979)
  • "She's in Command" (1979)
  • "Classic" (1982) UK No. 8
  • "Your Dream" (1982) UK No. 61
  • "Clown" (1982)
  • "Corner of Love" (1983)
  • "Hello Mum" (1983)

Songwriting credits/album appearances[edit]

Albums/singles and songwriting achievements[edit]

This section shows the chart appearances and sales certifications of Gurvitz' work with bands he's been a member of, his solo work and albums/singles by other artists in which he has contributed as songwriter.

Artist Album/single Achievements Year released
Rupert's People "Reflections of Charlie Brown" UK Top 40, Australian No. 13 1967
The Gun "Race with the Devil" UK Top 10 chart, European Top Charts No. 1 1967
Baker Gurvitz Army Baker Gurvitz Army UK Top 20 chart, US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1974
Baker Gurvitz Army Elysian Encounter US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1975
Baker Gurvitz Army Heart of Fire US Billboard charts, US: Gold 1976
The Graeme Edge Band Kick Off Your Muddy Boots US Billboard Top 100 charts 1975
The Graeme Edge Band Paradise Ballroom US Billboard Top 100 charts 1977
Adrian Gurvitz "Sweet Vendetta" No. 1 Japan chart, Japan: Gold 1979
Adrian Gurvitz "Classic" UK and European charts No. 8 1982
The England World Cup Squad "This Time (We'll Get It Right)" No. 1 UK chart, UK: Gold 1982
Eddie Money "The Love in Your Eyes" No. 24 Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, US: Gold 1989
Kenny G and Aaron Neville The Bodyguard: Soundtrack No. 1 Selling Soundtrack of All Time, Grammy Album of the Year, WW: 45x Platinum 1992
Kenny G Breathless No. 1 Billboard, US: 18x Platinum 1992
Steve Perry "Missing You" No. 74 Billboard Hot 100, US: Gold 1994
Stevie Nicks Party of Five Soundtrack - "Free Fallin'" US: Gold 1996
Youssou N’Dour "My Hope is in You" UK: Gold 1999
CeCe Winans Throne Room US Top Gospel Album No. 2 2001
Various Artists Jimmy Neutron Soundtrack Billboard 200 No. 6, US: Gold 2001
No Secrets No Secrets No. 1 Heatseekers Billboard Chart 2002
Various Artists Disneymania Billboard 200 No. 52, US: Gold 2002
Various Artists Disneymania 2 Billboard 200 No. 29, US: Gold 2004
Various Artists Disneymania 3 Billboard 200 No. 30, US: Gold 2005
Pixie Lott Young Foolish Happy - "Stevie on the Radio" featuring Stevie Wonder UK: Gold 2011
Emii "Mr. Romeo" featuring Snoop Dogg Top 20 Billboard chart 2012
Emii "Time to Move On" Music Week UK Commercial POP Club Chart No. 4, No. 9 Upfront Club Chart 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic biography
  2. ^ "Adele's 21 Closing in on Billboard Charts Record". 26 January 2012. Black Entertainment Television. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Blue Desert". www.adriangurvitz.com. Retrieved 12 July 2001. 
  4. ^ "dmme.net". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Rupert's People Biography". All Music. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 5 March 1969". Poparchives.com.au. 5 March 1969. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  7. ^ It can be heard on the Blue Wild Angel Live at the Isle of Wight CD/DVD.
  8. ^ "RQs Retro Universe Blog". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Discogs". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Allmusic". 1975. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "All Music". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Chart Stats". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Blue Desert". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Discogs". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Discogs". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Joel Whitburn Presents Rock Tracks 1981–2008. Hal Leonard Pub Co. ISBN 0-89820-174-8. 
  17. ^ Brunner, Rob. "Top Ten Best-Selling Soundtracks". 13 Mar 1998. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Academic Kids". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

External links[edit]